Green ‘Gate: Colgate Starts Sustainability Practice

This month, Colgate students, faculty and staff will be making small pledges towards living a more sustainable lifestyle. These pledg­es, called Personal Sustainability Practices (PSPs) are minor volun­tary commitments created to encourage individuals to make small changes to their everyday behavior. The pledges address many dif­ferent environmental concerns, including water conservation, waste reduction, energy conservation and alternative transportation.

“The cumulative result of hundreds of small personal actions will help advance sustainability on campus and beyond,” Green Liv­ing Program Coordinator and one of the leaders of the project Eric Spencer said.

The project was modeled after similar initiatives at universities across the nation. Pledges vary widely, from a commitment to raise the temperature on a refrigerator to a pledge to only use reusable water bottles or shopping bags.

“Such individual behavior is critical in the change that is needed,” Spencer said.

The project hopes to promote responsible individual behavior that will help contribute towards the university’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2019.

Over a hundred and fifty pledges have already been made, though the Sustainability Office hopes that they can reach their goal of three hundred pledges before November 23. After this date, Colgate stu­dents and faculty can no longer make pledges.

Many of the pledges encourage small behavioral changes that are very simple and easy. The pledges primarily address unsustainable practices, such as using plastic water bottles or leaving electronics plugged in, that are only commonplace because of their convenience or because it has become a habit.

“The amount that we waste because we have the means to, be it water, food, energy or whatever else, is outrageous,” Spencer said.

Pledges can still be made until Thanksgiving break at https://sites.

“It is time that Colgate, as a herald of higher education, took responsibility for how we lead our lives,” Spencer said.

Contact Cassidy Holahan at [email protected].